WWE wrestlers comment on wrestling being pulled from the 2020 Olympics
WWE wrestlers Jack Swagger, Cody Rhodes, and Dolph Ziggler spoke with Sports Illustrated's "Extra Mustard" blog regarding the International Olympic Committee voting to remove wrestling from the 2020 Olympics. "It’s hitting close to home more than usual," Ziggler said. "I know it’s not 100 percent yet but there are so many Olympic events, it’s unfortunate they’ve chosen a legitimate sport and one of the original sports ever. It’s mind-blowing that it’s even on the chopping block.
Jack Swagger also sounded off. "I’m so disgusted by it," Swagger said. "I’m fired up. It’s no secret I wasn’t the most athletic kid on the playground, but I went into it head over heels even though I wasn’t good at it at first,” Swagger recalled. “It teaches you so much about life and that’s what makes it the best sport. It teaches you discipline and dedication and how to work hard and how to sacrifice for your goals. Those are things you can apply to any area of your life, whether it’s your education or your career. Honestly, it turned me into a man."
Cody Rhodes also voices his displeasure. "If you’re a kid and breaking into that sport and want to improve, they’re taking away not only the top level, but also going to cut into the bottom level the junior programs and the kiddies," Rhodes said. "Because, well, if it’s not an Olympic sport, people might not think it’s something they should take seriously." Read the full blog with additional comments at Extramustard.si.com.
Powell's POV: All three men excelled in amateur wrestling and Ziggler actually spoke with an Arkansas high school wrestling team on Monday after the news broke. The story notes that Rhodes had a 101-2 high school record, but he passed on a Penn State scholarship offer to become a pro wrestler instead. Swagger competed for Oklahoma, and Ziggler holds the Kent State record for most wins.
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